Maureen Biggers

Maureen Biggers

Maureen Biggers
Bloomington, Indiana


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NCWIT Pacesetters Indiana University - Maureen Biggers Maureen Biggers: I'm Maureen Biggers and I'm from Indiana University's School of Informatics and Computing. Since becoming a NCWIT Pacesetter, the School of Informatics and Computing at Indiana University, Bloomington has doubled the number of undergraduate women in our program, from 75 to 150 over a period of 18 months. In our intro courses the women have increased by 49 percent. In that same time period, the men have increased by 13 percent. If you look at our overall majors, women have increased 20 percent, while men have in the same period of time have increased just under 10 percent. So we know we're doing something right. We have a strong leadership team, with our dean, and our associate dean and myself. I'm an assistant dean for diversity and education. We have a very clear goal. We have a strategic plan. We're using a systemic change model that's promoted by NCWIT for growing the number of women in our computer science programs and IT programs, and it works. We believe it works. Some of the things we're doing focus on, for example, pedagogy. We have a regular meeting with all our instructors and faculty for intro courses. We focus on best practices for students' success and retention, and that's happening. We're focusing on developing community so students have a sense of belonging and an identity with our program. We work on vision, so we help our students see that it's creative, that it's about team, and that you can make a difference with it. The other thing we do is we do market research, so we really understand who are students are in our courses, in our intro classes. How did they get there? Who are the influencers? Then we develop recruiting initiatives that leverage the power of the top influencers. We know that it's not one person, it's not one thing. We realize that it takes a village, and I'm excited to announce that the village at the Informatics and Computing School at Indiana University has set a new goal, and our plan is to double our number again. We look forward to the report about that next, and that's our story. Transcription by CastingWords

My Story...

In October 2011, I sat in the red chair to announce that since becoming an Pacesetter, the School of Informatics and Computing at Indiana University doubled the number of female undergraduate majors, from 75 to 150 in 18 months. With strong support from our Dean, Bobby Schnabel, we did it by using an engaging research based systemic change model promoted by NCWIT, and having a clear goal and a comprehensive strategic plan. Initiatives included faculty focus on best practices in pedagogy, programs to increase student success and retention, understanding our students and using that understanding in targeted marketing initiatives, community development to increase sense of belonging, and leveraging the power of parents and peers. It takes a village and this IU Village is now committed to the challenge of doubling it again!